From MedPage Today:

  1. Muscle Pain in the ED. Patients presenting to the emergency department with widespread muscle pain may have very low levels of vitamin D.
  2. Care of Cancer Survivors Often Falls Short. Most cancer patients enter survivorship with little direction from oncologists or primary care providers.
  3. MERS Cases Still Climbing. The number of cases of Middle East coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has topped ...

    Read more...

Something is in the air right now. There’s a strange mix of vaccine-preventable illness sweeping the country (measles) and a strange bump in media coverage for celebrities and vocal opponents to tested and recommended vaccine schedules. Part of me thought we might be done with that but pageviews, clicks, and views all sell. My hope is the coincidence of coverage and outbreaks is just that, a coincidence. But as a mom, ...

Read more...

News broke recently that Daniel Murphy, second baseman for the New York Mets, recently took two days off for paternity leave, causing him to miss Major League Baseball’s opening day and the season’s second game to be with his wife and child. Mike Francesa, a popular New York sports radio personality, devoted about 20 minutes of his Wednesday broadcast on WFAN to a rant against paternity leave. According to him, a ...

Read more...

Michelle Obama refers to childhood obesity as the tobacco of the 21st century. I agree. Obesity is quickly overtaking smoking as the nation’s No. 1 killer. As a pediatrician who sees firsthand the impact of overweight and obese children, we need to have conversations with our patient families that focus on obesity as a clinical issue. Right now, this isn’t happening. The rate of missed diagnosis for childhood obesity is over 95 percent, ...

Read more...

Lying in a hospital bed, my seriously obese patient can barely see her swollen and odorous right foot over her abdominal fat. The foot is soon to be amputated, the result of an untreatable infection exacerbated by diabetes and kidney failure, which developed in part because of obesity. Her two children, ages 6 and 12, hover from the hospital bed to the couch. In between, the bedside table is strewed with ...

Read more...

I’ve been involved in several boisterous Twitter debates about vaccines, at least to the extent that one can debate using snippets of 140 characters or less. I’ve also been a "super moderator" at a very large Internet message board for many years and have seen my share of passionate vaccine debates there. I’ve been a pediatrician for over 30 years and trained in the subspecialty of pediatric infectious diseases before ...

Read more...

The statistics tell us that our children are getting sicker and sicker. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has more than tripled in just 20 years: It is now diagnosed in 11 percent of all kids, and in an astounding 20 percent of teenage boys. Autism is also on a rapid rise.  The latest reported rate suggests that it occurs in one in every 68 kids -- 20 years ago it ...

Read more...

You know those little packets of paper, folded over eight times, written in type that can’t possibly be seen? You’ve seen them glommed onto the side of stock bottles of medications, or shoved into the paper box alongside a tube of prescription ointment. That unreadable thing is the official “product information,” often called the “label,” required for every FDA-approved medication. It contains all sorts of information, including lists of 
Read more...

Headlines soared recently with the CDC report that the number of children with autism diagnoses had increased by 30% in the past 2 years. “Reality is there are many children who are having serious struggles because they can’t communicate well and have a hard time being with people,” Dr. Chuck Cowan clearly stated to me this morning. Like a bell on a quiet night, I feel parents need to hear this most: ...

Read more...

A large number of pediatric practices these days use after-hours call centers for parents who have questions about a sick child. I’ve been looking around to find some data about how common this is, but my sense is that the majority of pediatricians use them. There is no question these call centers make live easier for the doctor; having somebody screen the calls, answer easy questions, and only call you ...

Read more...

33 Pages